Quotations of Wisdom

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Oliver Wendell Holmes

To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. [Q1412]

Tim O'Reilly

Empowerment of individuals is a key part of what makes open source work, since in the end, innovations tend to come from small groups, not from large, structured efforts. [Q546]

Jeremy Bentham

The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong. [Q458]

Saint Augustine

Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand. [Q1695]

Unattributed

Don't take life too seriously. Noone gets out alive. [Q1066]

Oliver Goldsmith

Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain, With grammar, and nonsense, and learning, good liquor, I stoutly maintain, gives genius a better discerning. [Q2089]

John Lennon

You better recognize your brothers, in everyone you meet — From the Lyrics of Instant Karma [Q1206]

John Adams (HBO Miniseries)

I fear our revolution will have been in vain if a Virginia farmer is to be held in hock to a New York stock jobber, who in turn is in hock to a London banker. The opportunities for avarice and corruption would certainly prove irresistible. — (Unite or Die[5]) Thomas Jefferson [Q1133]

Carl Jung

Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off. [Q253]

David Brock

It's all a sham: I have seen, and I know firsthand, indeed from my own pen, how the organized Right has sabotaged not only journalism but also democracy and truth. [Q622]

Andy Kaufman

I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut-or get angry from the gut. [Q234]

Sim Van der Ryn

The best design experience occur when no one can claim credit for the solution – when the solution grows and evolves organically out a particular situation, process, and pattern of communication. [Q345]

Karl Urban

That's always an interesting concept when you try to make your dream into a reality and you come up against the facts of exactly what it is you're attempting to do. [Q210]

Benjamin Franklin

Thinking aloud is a habit which is responsible for most of mankind's misery. — HBO Mini Series John Adams [Q1112]

Zeno of Citium

Fate is the endless chain of causation, whereby things are; the reason or formula by which the world goes on. [Q1734]

Barbara Deming
 

The longer we listen to one another - with real attention - the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions. [Q379]

Epictetus

Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire. [Q812]

Edward Sapir

A common allegiance to form of expression that is identified with no single national unit is likely to prove one of the most potent symbols of the freedom of the human spirit that the world has yet known. [Q2065]

Georgia O'Keeffe

I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at - not copy it. [Q1162]

Miles Davis

I know what I've done for music, but don't call me a legend. Just call me Miles Davis. [Q2058]

Scott Nesler

There is no right to be heard. [Q97]

Blaise Pascal

Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them. [Q586]

Freeman Dyson

A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering. [Q1001]

Aristotle

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. [Q853]

Margaret Mead

Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess. [Q947]

Marie Curie

There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth. [Q331]

Marie Curie

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. [Q329]

Mitch Smith

I point to popular dichotomies as falsifications – the true vectors lie elsewhere. So you can’t say “Republican Vs Democrat” that’s a false dichotomy based on mistaken perception of the underlying structure of policy. When you strip that away, the true dichotomy is revealed – Empathy vs Apathy – and it exists all the way across the false map. Similar is Capital Vs Labour – there would be no labour as we know it without currency(capital) – just as there is no such thing as cold – there is only heat. [Q1983]

Hypatia

Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them. In fact, men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth —- often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable. [Q1235]

Master Po

Young Caine, when I was a boy, I fell into a hole in the ground and I was broken and could not climb out. I might have died there but a stranger came along and saved me. He said it was his obligation. That for help he had once received, he must in return help ten others each of whom would then help ten others so that good deeds would spread out like the ripples from a pebble in a pond. I was one of his ten and you became one of mine. And now I pass this obligation on to you. — Kung Fu Televison Series 1972 - Episode #6 [Q526]

Scott Nesler

What is at conflict is an inner turmoil preventing the expression of a personal oppression. The media thrust conflict upon us and we gravitate to it as it is our own. We must see the tangency of these arguments and utilize them to express a broader solution. [Q1303]

J. Robert Oppenheimer

There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago. [Q322]

E. B. White

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. [Q2078]

Robin Williams

The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, 'Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and yelling, 'You want a piece of me?' [Q1382]

Albert Einstein

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them! [Q67]

Virgil

Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance. [Q1572]

Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. [Q1955]

Leo Tolstoy

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. [Q1060]

Stephen Hawking

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. [Q728]

Herbert Simon

Most of us really aren't horribly unique. There are 6 billion of us. Put 'em all in one room and very few would stand out as individuals. So maybe we ought to think of worth in terms of our ability to get along as a part of nature, rather than being the lords over nature. [Q645]

Thomas Szasz

If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. [Q1521]

René Descartes

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it. [Q1113]

Hippocrates

Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always. [Q1025]

Clarence Darrow

Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to? [Q1095]

Charles Lindbergh

All mentally well-balanced persons know that we are not governed by the true principals of social justice when we make the main aim of our social existence the gaining of money. [Q1940]

Hippocrates

The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words. [Q1032]

Debra Smith TED - Can we question the great thinkers

If it feels impossible it may be because you have not yet marshalled a compelling case/argument or presented it in an approachable fashion. There are times, however, that the mind you need to change has already made a decision based on limited knowledge it has. At this point that self-reflection should click in and you need to be asking yourself if they know something you do not. [Q1960]

Edward de Bono

an intelligent person may use his or her thinking simply to defend a point of view. The more skilled the defense the less does that person ever see a need to explore the subject, listen to others or generate alternatives. This is poor thinking. (Edward de Bono, I am right, you are wrong, page 19) [Q1996]

Wendell Berry

Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare. [Q1337]

Albion W. Small

Modern sociology is virtually an attempt to take up the larger program of social analysis and interpretation which was implicit in Adam Smith's moral philosophy, but which was suppressed for a century by prevailing interest in the technique of the production of wealth. [Q999]

Dwight Eisenhower

America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. [Q1845]

Edward de Bono

There can be no truth in the media and in this respect the media model for perception. There is no truth in perception. It is always from a point of view. It is never complete.

Understanding perception has a very high practical value because it covers most of our thinking outside technical areas. The above comment on the media is one example. We should never expect the media to be objective because perception does not work that way.

The only truth in perception is the 'truth' of belief systems. As we shall see, beliefs arise very easily from circularity phenomenon in the underlying system. As we understand how beliefs arise and how they are sustained we can see why logical arguments will not touch beliefs, prejudices, and faulty perceptions. this is of great practical value, since various belief systems are a major component of human affairs.

(From the book, I am right, you are wrong. Pg 46-47) [Q2012]

Senator Paul Simon

I am a partisan Democrat, proud of my party affiliation, but I also recognize that most problems are "nuts and bolts" problems that require people to sit down and work together for reasonable solutions. Occasionally a question of political philosophy surfaces, but not too frequently. [Q1823]

Carl Jung

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also. [Q256]

Aristotle

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. [Q843]

Jeremy Bentham

It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong. [Q447]

Senator Paul Simon

Our race into more and more business mergers is generally not healthy, thought in some instances it is. Our tax laws encourage these mergers. For example, when U.S. Steel (now USX Corporation) borrowed $5.6 billion to buy Marathon Oil, it did not increase steel productivity, it did not cause any more oil wells to be drilled, it added nothing to the nation's productivity. But the interest they paid on that purchase is tax deductible — ultimately subsidized by you and me. It eats up money on the financial markets, increasing interest. [Q1732]

Scott Nesler

The fact is our passion and points of view are different, not necessarily wrong. [Q1253]

Margaret Atwood

I got into trouble a while ago for saying that I thought the internet led to increased literacy - people scolded me about the shocking grammar to be found online - but I was talking about fundamentals: quite simply, you can't use the net unless you can read. [Q2084]

Konrad Lorenz

Every man gets a narrower and narrower field of knowledge in which he must be an expert in order to compete with other people. The specialist knows more and more about less and less and finally knows everything about nothing. [Q1430]

John Boyd Orr

After the First World War the economic problem was no longer one of production. It was the problem of finding markets to get the output of industry and agriculture dispersed and consumed. [Q1150]

Brian David Josephson

Logical thinking is thinking based on propositions and on consideration of the truth or falsity of propositions. Its primary usefulness is in situations where facts can be relied on to remain facts — in other words, in circumstances where nothing really new or unexpected is likely to happen. — Prologue to Edward de Bono's I am Right You are Wrong [Q1988]

Margaret Mead

As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost. [Q1417]

Ward Cunningham

You are always taught to do as much as you can. Always put checks in. Always look for exceptions. Always handle the most general case. Always give the user the best advice. Always print a meaningful error message. Always this. Always that. You have so many things in the background that you’re supposed to do, there’s no room left to think. I say, forget all that and ask yourself, “What’s the simplest thing that could possibly work?” I think the advice got turned into a command: “Do the simplest thing that could possibly work.” That’s a little more confusing, because there isn’t this notion that as soon as you’ve done it, we’ll evaluate it. [Q1013]

Charles Lindbergh

Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values... God made life simple. It is man who complicates it. [Q1934]

Erwin Schrödinger

The scientist only imposes two things, namely truth and sincerity, imposes them upon himself and upon other scientists. [Q1436]

Plutarch

Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them. [Q781]

Ferdinand de Saussure

Outside speech, the association that is made in the memory between words having something in common creates different groups, series, families, within which very diverse relations obtain but belonging to a single category: these are associative relations. [Q1190]

Albert Einstein

May the conscience and the common sense of the peoples be awakened, so that we may reach a new stage in the life of nations, where people will look back on war as an incomprehensible aberration of their forefathers! [Q583]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are. [Q425]

Epictetus

Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit. [Q830]

Sebastien Paquet

I learned from physics that it is often best not to rush in to solve a problem. The time you invest in really understanding a problem is typically given to you back several-fold: - It simplifies the problem at hand; - It creates new learning in your mind, which will make subsequent similar problems easier to tackle. Second, computer science taught me that there are many ways to skin a cat. Programming is essentially a communication challenge. It is about clarifying initially fuzzy concepts and relations and representing them in code. The way you do this determines how much or how little trouble you're setting yourself up for — From his blog What Physics and Computer Science Taught Me about Thinking [Q292]

Wendell Berry

The ability to speak exactly is intimately related to the ability to know exactly. [Q1340]

Plutarch

To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future. [Q790]

Epictetus

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. [Q821]

Lawrence Krauss (Quantum Man)

I'd rather not understand things than be certain of something which is wrong. — Attributed to Richard Feynman [Q1366]

Saint Francis of Assisi

While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart. [Q1402]

prot

Let me tell you something, Mark. You humans, most of you, subscribe to this policy of an eye for an eye, a life for a life, which is known throughout the universe for its ... stupidity. Even your Buddha and your Christ had quite a different vision. But nobody's paid much attention to them, not even your Buddhists and your Christians. [Q1224]

Wendell Berry

We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. [Q1321]

Richard M Nixon

We do not learn by inference and deduction and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy. [Q309]

Marshall McLuhan

The medium is the message. [Q1475]

Alexis de Tocqueville

A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it. [Q1037]

Daniel H. Pink

It's in our nature to seek purpose. But that nature is now being revealed and expressed on a scale that is demographically unprecedented and, until recently, scarcely imaginable. The consequences could rejuvenated our business and remake our world. — Drive, Chapter 6. Purpose. [Q371]

Adlai Stevenson III

Nineteen men armed with box cutters could not bring all America down. Only its government can do that. [Q1869]

Plato

Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation. [Q875]

Epicurus

The time when most of you should withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd. [Q806]

John J. Sweeney

For globalization to work for America, it must work for working people. We should measure the success of our economy by the breadth of our middle class, and the scope of opportunity offered to the poorest child to climb into that middle class. [Q439]

Albert Einstein

Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination. [Q401]

The Beatles

Life is very short, and there's no time, for fussing and fighting, my friend. — We Can Work It Out [Q1373]

Václav Havel

Despite all the political misery I am confronted with every day, it still is my profound conviction that the very essence of politics is not dirty; dirt is brought in only by wicked people. I admit that this is an area of human activity where the temptation to advance through unfair actions may be stronger than elsewhere, and which thus makes higher demands on human integrity. But it is not true at all that a politician cannot do without lying or intriguing. That is sheer nonsense, often spread by those who want to discourage people from taking an interest in public affairs. [Q1765]

Virgil

What each man feared would happen to himself, did not trouble him when he saw that it would ruin another. [Q1592]

Titus Maccius Plautus

Modus omnibus in rebus - In everything the middle course is best, all things in excess brings contention. — Poenulus [Q1218]

David Foster Wallace

This diagnosis can be done in about two lines. It doesn't engage anybody. [Q984]

M. Scott Peck

Share our similarities, celebrate our differences. [Q1202]

David Hume

It's when we start working together that the real healing takes place... it's when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood. [Q1358]

Karl Menninger

The voice of the intelligence is drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all it is silenced by ignorance. [Q707]

Caine and Master Kan

Caine, "Beauty differs from being to being". Master Kan, "Beauty is constant as is the truth. Seek and find what is the truth". Caine, "What is the truth of man, Master". Master Kan, "It has been said that a man is three things, what he thinks he is, what others think he is, and what he really is. Which of these do you feel is the truth"? Caine, "What he really is, but if a man is wrong about himself, and others are wrong about him, who is left to say what he really is"? Master Kan, "At what point in time can a man be fixed from force if he is to live and grow". Caine, "He must change". Master Kan, "As the lowly caterpillar transforms itself into a finer and more beautiful creature". Kung Fu" 1973 Season 2, Episode 14 [Q617]

Thomas Jefferson

I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. [Q197]

George S Patton

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. [Q501]

Woody Guthrie

Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow. [Q355]

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